Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Sameer came to be - an interview with Nandini Nayar, author of the Curious Sameer series

She created the adorable Sameer and his equally lovable mum. The series of four books, all of which have stories that are told in riddle format, are a huge hit with Karadi Tales readers. We interview author Nandini Nayar about what inspired her to write these books.

Our Curious Sameer series is available at 40% off until July 31, 2017 -

Karadi Tales: What was your inspiration for the Sameer series?  

Nandini Nayar: Children are bored very easily and come to you for suggestions about what they can do. My son did this too, but naturally, he did not like any of my suggestions.  This led to my writing a story about a boy who challenges his mother every time she offers a suggestion. When Karadi took the story, they asked me for another to go with this. And since the first one – What Will You Give Me?- had set the question-answer pattern between the boy and his mother, I thought of other questions that the boy could ask. That’s how What Will I Be?, What Could it Be? and Where Shall We Go? came about.

KT: Is Sameer based on anyone you know?

NN: I think Sameer is a mix of all the children I’ve observed over the years, my own son, the children of friends and cousins. What they all have in common is the creative ease with which they find faults in any suggestion made by a grown-up.   

KT: How did you get into children’s writing?

NN: The best way possible- I wrote a story that was published in a newspaper and that was it – my fate was sealed. I was so inspired by that one publication that I wrote and wrote and wrote and continue to write! 

KT: How do you test if the stories you’ve written work for children?
NN: My early picture book stories were made up for my son. He loved them and that gave me the courage to send them to a publishing house. When a story is successfully transferred from your mind to paper, you are filled with a breathless certainty that you’ve just created something good, something that sparkles and lives and breathes. When I experience that kind of certainty about something, I know that children will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


When do you find it easiest to write?
When I’ve been thinking, dreaming, breathing a story for some time.   

Your favourite children’s book?
Peppermint Pig, Pinhoe Egg, Howl’s Moving Castle and several others.  

One author you admire?
Diana Wynne Jones

Your favourite encounter with a fan?
A boy who was so overcome at meeting me that he couldn’t speak at all, just smiled and smiled and smiled.

If you could be a book character for a day who would it be?
I’d like to be Apoorva, from my own series titled ‘The Diary of an Indian Schoolgirl’. 

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